Our Missouri tractor-trailer accident lawyers noted a particularly dangerous accident that happened in Kansas City just after the Thanksgiving long weekend. The Kansas City Star reported Nov. 30 that a tanker truck crashed on Interstate 35 at 7 a.m. that day, causing a rollover and a spill of its contents — hydrochloric acid. The newspaper said the crash spilled up to 400 gallons of acid across the highway’s Paseo Bridge construction site, causing a toxic hazard that closed the road in both directions and put a nearby business on lockdown. At least 11 people reportedly went to the hospital, although no serious injuries were reported.
According to the Star, police said the driver of the truck was probably going too fast for the stretch of highway, which is part of a construction zone. The truck hit a concrete barrier and overturned, spilling acid from its tank. Hydrochloric acid has many uses in industrial processing, but corrodes human tissue and can produce toxic gas when mixed with common substances like bleach. To control this danger, the city threw down sand and dirt to stop the spreading puddle, following up with a special truck to siphon it away. It also had to call in a special road crew to repair holes the acid had eaten into the highway. The nearly Isle of Capri casino closed down its climate-control system and went on lockdown to minimize the risk of injury to staff and customers. Nonetheless, eleven people went to hospitals complaining of eye, nose and throat irritation, including the truck’s driver, two police officers and a construction worker.
As a St. Louis tanker truck accident attorney, I’m grateful that the damage was not worse. The federal government considers hydrochloric acid a toxic substance. Direct contact with human skin causes chemical burns that can lead to permanent damage if the exposure is strong enough. Contact with the fumes is even more dangerous, leading to death, circulation problems or permanent organ damage in high concentrations; or burning eyes, nose and throat in lesser concentrations. If the spill had gone differently, or the city had not been able to respond so quickly, everyone in the area would have been at risk for these serious injuries. And because law enforcement suspects that speed was the cause of the crash, the trucker — and probably his trucking company — would have been held responsible for those injuries.
The federal government does put limitations on how trucking companies may transport hazardous materials, especially in urban areas. But when trucking companies and drivers don’t take reasonable care — or violate the law — they are still legally liable for the injuries and deaths they cause. Carey, Danis & Lowe represents people who are seriously injured by a trucker’s or trucking company’s negligence, including mistakes on the road as well as mistakes in hiring, firing, maintenance and other important aspects of fielding a safe fleet of trucks. Our southern Illinois semi truck accident attorneys help clients claim compensation for the severe injuries an 18-wheeler can cause, which include wrongful deaths as well as life-altering head and spinal injuries that lead to permanent disability. We also help them deal with the often severe financial aspects of their injuries, helping them claim compensation for a lifetime of lost income and intensive medical care.
If your family suffered a severe loss because of an accident with a Mack truck, you should talk to the Lowe Law Firm right away to learn more about your rights and your legal options. To set up a consultation at absolutely no cost to you, please contact us through the Internet or call toll-free at 1-877-678-3400 today.